The NikeCourt Zoom Pro is one of Nike’s more affordable court shoes and we have taken it out for testing on the pickleball courts. Does it have enough to compete with the Skechers Viper Court Pros and New Balance Coco CG1s of the world? Let’s find out with another pickleball performance review.
The NikeCourt Zoom Pro succeeds in providing a connected feel when navigating the pickleball court. The low-profile midsole setup is smooth as far as the north and south transition between lines and didn’t leave much to be desired in terms of a low ride.
While the decently sized (as far as coverage goes, at least) forefoot Air Zoom bag did not hinder court feel in any way, I have to say I was disappointed in the lack of feedback I got from it. I assume it’s a really thin unit to maintain court feel, because I honestly wouldn’t have noticed the shoe used this tech had it not been advertised and highlighted through the outsole (that along with another interesting thing I noticed that we’ll discuss later). Despite this experience and my wonder about the need for Zoom at all, I am still happy with the court feel of the NikeCourt Zoom Pro.
The lightweight build is achieved by lightweight textiles and minimal layering in the upper combined with lightweight EVA running full-length through the midsole.
At 14.7 ounces (Men’s 11.5 US), the NikeCourt Zoom Pro is the lightest racket sports shoe I’ve tested to date. This was extremely beneficial when trying to cover ground by split-stepping and getting a read on the opponent’s next shot as well as general movements around the court.
There’s not too much detail to go into here, but as a tennis shoe made for hardcourt, the durability of the sole did not disappoint. I would say the outsole is on par with Skechers Viper Court Pro I previously tested and a little bit better than the New Balance Coco CG1. Nice work Nike for not coming in last as far as outsole durability.
While the NikeCourt Zoom Pro runs true to size in length, it’s a very narrow fit. Wide footers will want to go at least a half-size up, but PLEASE try any colorway you can find on in-store if you have the opportunity.
The narrow fit is concerning as I myself skew just slightly towards the narrow side, though I fit most standard-width shoes just fine in my true size. Though not uncomfortable for me, I still notice the narrowness of the NikeCourt Zoom Pro every time I put it on, even after weeks of testing and breaking it in. It’s also not helpful for containment as there’s no outrigger and the shoe’s base is just as narrow.
Alright, I’ll start with when I first put my feet into the NikeCourt Zoom Pro. They just felt warped, especially in the right shoe. Yes, I know…no two feet are the same (even our own two), it had just been delivered off a truck in the middle of a North Carolina summer, and the fit is narrow. But even now, something still feels off after they’ve had time to mold to my feet. Definitely a little more than your average manufacturing discrepancy between shoes.
Then, for the longest time, I would continually check the bottom of my shoe to see if I stepped on gum or something sticky. It was on and off, but the same right shoe every time. What it really seems to be is a loose Zoom unit snapping on and off some type of adhesive.
Lastly, the upper durability. I understand Nike isn’t going to invest too much into the materials of a $100 shoe, but more could be done to protect a tennis shoe. I have small tears forming on the outer textile layer of the upper, one on the medial side of the left shoe, and the other on the lateral side of the right shoe. Both are forming where the rubberized toe cap begins to wrap around and while it’s nice to have some protection around the toe, it’s just not enough and doesn’t seem to work well with the upper.
Long story short, the NikeCourt Zoom Pro does not seem built to last, and maybe that’s why it seems to have had a longer-than-usual product lifecycle.
NikeCourt Zoom Pro Summary
While I love the price, agility, and aesthetic of the NikeCourt Zoom Pro, I do not find it likely to make my top air jordan list. I found things I was looking forward to, such as Zoom Air, disappointing, and frankly, there was just too much to think about before and after games when wearing the shoe.
Some may love the NikeCourt Zoom Pro, and that’s okay, but if I were to make a recommendation, it would be to spend another $15-$20 on something more substantial from the start, or something higher quality from Nike af 1 or another brand that may go on sale. $100 looks like a solid price for a good-looking Nike shoe, but there’s a high likelihood you will shortly spend more money on a replacement pair, if the shoe isn’t covered by a trustworthy return policy.